Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Monday, October 29, 2018
I can't say I enjoyed the film, but I think it was good and I'm glad I saw it. There are a few laughs - it's sort of a comedy - but it's also very serious. I just don't think about people with Down's syndrome very much, and at the beginning watching them acing made me feel more uncomfortable that I'd like to admit to myself or anyone else.
As others more knowledgeable than me are probably already aware, after a little while you stop seeing the disability and start to see the individuals. I might have known intellectually that people with learning disabilities have the same emotions and human engagements as other 'normal' people, but after watching this I actually felt it.
Watched at Lansdown Film Club in Stroud.
Thursday, October 25, 2018
There is some suggestion in the film that the point of the moonshot was to beat the Soviets, who seemed to be winning the space race, but it doesn't really go anywhere with this. Towards the end we are left with the feeling that the moonshot was worthwhile in its own terms, and that all humanity benefitted from this great achievement of the USA. This is not examined at all. The film does show how there was dissatisfaction with the space programme before the success of Apollo 11, and suggests that this all evaporated when the landing was successful.
In order to achieve this it engages in a bit of dishonest sleight of hand. In general there is very little about the context of the time, but for a few minutes we get some audio overlay of anti-war protests and some shots of placards protesting the money wasted on the programme. Then there's some footage of a young black man performing Gil Scott-Heron's fabulous rap "Whitey on the moon" - all part of the sour carping criticism of the space programme that will later be vindicated by the spiritual moment of Armstrong's first step on behalf of all humanity. Except...that "Whitey on the moon" is from 1970, after the landing, and represents part of the still-strong protest and radical politics of that era. The film-makers must know this because they will have had to licence it, but they have literally re-organised history to make it say what they want it to.
Watched at the Everyman cinema in Muswell Hill.
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Redeemed somewhat by the fact that it's about English hostility to an immigrant of impeccable manners and hard work - although he's a good guy he'll never be accepted by the locals. Based on a short story by Joseph Conrad, who manages to seem very contemporary so often.
Watched on Amazon Prime directly on the Smart TV.
Was this on Prime or Netflix? Already forgotten, and in a few weeks I will have forgotten the film too.
Accurate in its depiction of working class life in America, unlike the way that TV and films often make it look like working class Americans live in mansions - this woman and her new neighbour-friend live in houses that are little better than shacks.
Watched on Netflix - we chose it because it had won a prize at Sundance.
Monday, October 15, 2018
Really enjoyable...beautifully written, intelligent, insightful. A novel of characters rather than of plot, which works so well because Merivel is such a good character - with lots of insight into himself, but not so omniscient as to render him uninteresting. Just great...I can't believe I have waited so long to read this, and I'm quite tempted to watch the film too.
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
She was too beautiful to get really good parts and ended up doing sultry sexpot roles, until she was too old for those. Then she descended into a world of ghastly and increasingly ineffective plastic surgery in a doomed effort to stay beautiful and young.
Watched on Netflix.
Watched on Netflix.